Located 12 miles from Lexington, Nicholasville Kentucky has a fair amount to boast about. Firstly, the town is close to the site of the very first commercial winery in the U.S. and it is also home to one of the largest Thoroughbred Equine Centers in the state. Visitors come to Nicholasville to enjoy the beautiful rural splendor of the region while taking some time to discover the history and culture of Jessamine County. Wine lovers will find a selection of wineries to visit for a tasting and golfers have several courses waiting to offer them an enjoyable round of golf. Animal lovers can visit Taylor Made Farm to learn all about Thoroughbred horse breeding or make your way to Wolf Run Wildlife Reserve to support the excellent rescue facility and meet some of the resident wolves and other wildlife. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Taylor Made Farm

Taylor Made Farm
© Terri Cage/stock.adobe.com

Taylor Made Farm is family owned and operated by four Taylor brothers who established the brand in 1976. Known throughout the equestrian fraternity to be one of the biggest and best Thorough-bred horse farms in the state, Taylor Made Farms covers 1600 acres of rolling Kentucky meadows which are home to over 500 horses. The farm started off as a boarding establishment for mares travelling to Kentucky for breeding – although the farm is still used as an equine boarding facility the main business of the farm breeds is to breed top class race horses for auction. Guided tours of the equestrian center are conducted by knowledgeable guides and will give you great insight into the world of horses.

Taylor Made Farm, 2765 Union Mill Rd, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-885-3345

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2.Valley View Ferry, Nicholasville, KY

Valley View Ferry, Nicholasville, KY
© Valley View Ferry

Not only is the Valley View Ferry one of the oldest ferries in the States, but it is also thought to be the oldest continually operating business in the Commonwealth. Established in 1780, this remarkable free cable-ferry service connects motorists wanting to travel between Nicholasville and Richmond, along Route 169. The ferry is guided by cables which stretch between four 55-foot towers and can transport three cars at a time across the Kentucky River. On average, 250 cars use the ferry service every day. Traveling to Nicholasville via the ferry is an enjoyable and novel way for visitors to arrive at their destination.

Valley View Ferry, Nicholasville, KY 40356

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3.Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument

Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument
© Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument

Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument is located close to Nicholasville in Jessamine County. The camp was established in 1863, during the Civil War, to serve as a depot for the Union Army. Later the camp was used for recruitment of new soldiers from Eastern Tennessee and escaped slaves seeking to join the army. Still later, after the Civil War, many ex-slaves received their emancipation papers at the camp. You can learn about the significance of the monument at the Interpretive Center and tour the only other remaining building on the site, which is operated as a house museum. You are also welcome to explore 5 miles of trails where remnants of fortifications can be found.

Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument, 6614 Danville Rd, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-881-5716

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4.First Vineyard, Nicholasville, Kentucky

First Vineyard, Nicholasville, Kentucky
© First Vineyard

The name says it all – First Vineyard marks the spot of the birthplace of commercial wine-making in the U.S. More than 200 years ago First Vineyard was established here in Jessamine County Kentucky. Of course, it has not all been plain sailing and the fledgling industry had to cope with many disasters along the way. Visitors are invited to visit the vineyard’s new Tasting Room to hear more about the history of First Vineyard and to take a tour of the vineyards and winery, followed by a tasting. The vineyard also keeps a research facility/library where oenologists can view hundreds of documents pertaining to the wine industry in the U.S.

First Vineyard, 5800 Sugar Creek Pike, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-885-9359

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5.Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Nicholasville, Kentucky

Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Nicholasville, Kentucky
© Chrisman Mill Vineyards

Not far from First Vineyard, Chrisman Mill Vineyards are also waiting to welcome visitors to their wine estate and Tasting Room. The vineyard has carefully selected varietals which perform well in the unique Kentucky terroir and they currently produce Sevval Blanc, Chancellor, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Norton grapes from 3.5 acres of mature vines. In addition to these harvests, Chrisman Mills also buy in Kentucky grapes from various other vineyards to produce their range of wines. The winery has recently opened their new Fuego Grill Restaurant where you can enjoy a great farm-to-fork meal prepared from locally sourced organic produce.

Chrisman Mill Vineyards, 2385 Chrisman Mill Rd, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-881-5007

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6.Daddy Joe’s Bar and Grill, Nicholasville, Kentucky

Daddy Joe’s Bar and Grill, Nicholasville, Kentucky
© Daddy Joe’s Bar and Grill

Named for Joe Taylor, a prominent figure in the establishment of Thoroughbred horse breeding in Kentucky, Daddy Joe’s Bar and Grill is located in the Thoroughbred Golf Club at High Point. The restaurant serves lunch daily between 11 and 2.30 and breakfast on the weekend, welcoming to both visitors and golfers. Guests can choose from a good selection of freshly-prepared luncheon favorites including a house-made chili, sandwiches, burgers, wings and more. For something lighter you can select a salad. Meals are served in the club house and golfers are encouraged to order their choice on the App and collect their take-away meal at the turn.

Daddy Joe’s Bar and Grill, Thoroughbred Golf Club, 1215 High Point Drive, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-887-4614

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6 Best Things to Do in Nicholasville, Kentucky

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